White House Claims ‘Border is Not Open’ as Thousands of Migrants Cross into the United States

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 15: White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House on September 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. Jean-Pierre spoke about the start of Hispanic Heritage Month and the recent announcement for the temporary agreement reached between railway companies and …
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images, Photo/Sandra Sebastian

The White House argued Monday that the southern border is not open despite thousands of migrants crossing into the United States in recent days.

“It would be wrong to think that the border is open. It’s not open, and I just want to be very, very clear about that,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted.

Thousands of migrants have already surged across the border in the month of December, taking advantage of Biden’s weak deportation and border security guidelines.

Earlier in December, 11,000 migrants were reportedly apprehended in one week by border officials, with another 3,200 escaping without getting arrested. In just one weekend, 7,400 migrants crossed into the border town of El Paso, prompting local officials to declare a state of emergency.

Biden has remained silent about the ongoing crisis, telling reporters earlier this month there are “more important things going on” than the border.

President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Susan Walsh/AP)

The White House also reacted to the upcoming lifting of the Title 42 order on Wednesday. Title 42 currently allows the United States to expel migrants claiming asylum, requiring them to wait in Mexico while their claims are heard in court.

The Biden administration has not tried to appeal a court order to lift Title 42, as an estimated up to 50,000 migrants are waiting in Mexico to cross into the United States on the Southern border.

But the White House downplayed the idea that lifting Title 42 would encourage more migrants to cross into the United States.

“The fact that the removal of Title 42 is happening in just a day or two doesn’t mean the border is open,” Jean-Pierre said.

She said the idea that it will be easier to cross the border after the lifting of Title 42 would be “misinformation.”

“We are doing the smuggler’s job if we spread misinformation,” she said.

At no point did Jean-Pierre declare that the border was “closed,” but continued using the phrase “not open” from her prepared talking points.

“We will continue to fully enforce our immigration laws in a fair, orderly, and humane manner,” she said.


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